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Home > India > News > Report

A year after Mecca Masjid blasts: Many questions, few answers

Vicky Nanjappa | May 18, 2008 20:36 IST

A year has gone by since the horrific Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad, which claimed nine lives. Five people died in subsequent police firing, while they were protesting the incident on the streets.

The Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad opened a new chapter in terrorism. Terror groups such as the Lashkar e Toiba and Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami declared that this was just the beginning of a series of attacks.

Their statement came true when twin bomb blasts rocked Hyderabad once again three months later. Intelligence dossiers suggested that the intention behind attacking Hyderabad was to create a wave of terror and restore the rule of the Nizam, while liberating the capital of Andhra Pradesh from the Union of India.

A year has passed, but the investigating authorities have not made any headway in the probe. Over two dozen people have been detained in the past year in connection to the blasts, but no concrete information has been acquired after interrogating them. The Andhra Pradesh government, which was under tremendous pressure after such a blatant attack on an important religious site, handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

One of the conclusions reached by the CBI was that the mastermind behind the attack was HuJI commander Shahid Bilal. A senior police officer at Hyderabad told that the probe was delayed by the subsequent twin blasts in Hyderabad.

The investigating agencies feel that both the Hyderabad police and the CBI should work together to crack this case as the forces behind both Mecca Masjid blasts and the twin blasts are the same. Although the matter is being investigated for a year now, it is not clear whether the blast mastermind is still alive.

A candle lit march was organised in Hyderbad on Sunday in meomory of those who lost their lives in the Mecca Masjid blast. Lateef Mohammad Khan, Chairman of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, headed the march. He told that they the committee has demanded that the real culprits should be punished immediately.

The committee members also demanded more compensation for those injured in the blasts.

Abdul Wahib, a resident of Hyderabad who participated in the march, said that his nephew Sajid had been permanently disabled by the blasts. Sajid could not walk without support. Though he had received the government's compensation, Wahib feels that more should be done for such victims, so they are able to support themselves and their families.